Vision Rising

My bike is a 1983 Yamaha Vision, purchased new in April of 1986. I put over 40,000 miles on this bike until March 31, 2006. On that date, on a trip to meet other California Riders of Vision members, the front cylinder lost power outside of Paso Robles. You can read the full story of how we managed to get the bike back home.

Below is a photo taken of my Vision in 2001, it has a Corbin Saddle on it, but otherwise is stock. After the break down, I am now going through the Vision and repairing quite a few things that I wanted to repair, but it was still running. I'll also be including pictures and commentary here about the repairs and things I find wrong. While I refer to this work as a restoration, it will not be a frame up restoration

All of the images taken during the rebuild can be found on my PBase account

If you find this page useful, please consider a donation to keep the photo server space active

Vision rebuild from start to finish in a few images...
Things to do... Date Done
Remove bodywork 7-9-06
Replace Fork Seals forks removed 7-23
Right fork complete 9-3
Complete 9-17
Replace Brake Lines Done 12-9
Replace Brake Pads Done, 10-28
Rebuild Brakes Complete 10-22
Clean Rust and paint frame in progress 9-3
more in progress 9-17
Finished 12-2
Grease taper steering bearings Done 9-17
Replace spark plug wires Done 11-1
Replace Fuse Box deferred (still good)
Touch up fairing damage deferred
Replace Exhaust Gaskets Pulled 9-17
Finished 12-22
Replace Heat Shields around Carbs Finished 12-30
Figure out speedo cable holder deferred
Clean out radiator Finished Feb. 12
Replace Rear Shock? deferred
Valve Check Checked 10-14, rear exhaust out of spec, finished 11-11
Compression Check 12-3 119 PSI front, 121 back
Check Coils Spare set arrived on 9-15
Checked 12-22
Fix stripped oil filter bolt hole deferred
Better Horn? deferred
Better Headlight? Replaced bulb with Sylvania Blue

July 4, 2006


On July 4th, 2006 I started pulling the bike apart to do the restoration. As you can see from the photos to the right, I need to clean up some surface rust, replace hoses, and do some other long delayed work. While I don't know what caused the problem, I'm hoping the problem will surface when I get further into the restoration.

Straight down the carbs

Stripped of plastic

Ancient and brittle valve cover breather hose

Not that different

July 9, 2006

I took the fairing off, as well as the rest of the body work, including the fork brace, the front fender, the fairing mounting brackets, etc... This is all in preparation for doing repair work including sanding and repainting the frame where needed. I'll be masking off areas and will probably end up repainting most of the frame after spot treating the rusty areas. One large area is under the battery box, but it looks like surface rust and not too bad.
Battery box rust

Stripped of body work

The fairing off the Vision

July 16, 2006

Washed the engine with Simple Green Max, which does a very nice job. The engine is now mostly clean, except where I couldn't get with a scrubber. Removed the airbox, and inspected the forks so I can get a better idea of that repair. Turns out that the weather seal at the top is protruding a little, which probably explains the slight oil leak. Next, the exhaust comes off. Hopefully I'll win the bidding on some parts on Ebay to aid in the restoration.

July 23, 2006

Removed the front forks, discovered that there is a fair amount of surface rust I need to clean up on the lower triple clamp. I may pull that off and paint it off the bike. Also got a good look at the forks and what needs doing. Definately new seals, and some good work with polishing.

I also discovered that the dust boot on my right front brake has melted (!) and is a sticky mess. Looks like I may need to rebuild the brakes. The brake lines look like they've lived for the last 20 years in an ocean environment, which they have. They really need replacing.

And finally, I won a TCI from ebay which looks really good. It apparently came off a bike that was parted out after 3600 miles. The TCI looks clean, so I'm hopeful that may lead to the solution of the original problem. Also, by getting the front forks off, I know have something that I can repair, instead of just taking things off the bike. It's a small step forward, but a step.

Much cleaner engine. Some polishing needs to occur.

The black blob needs replacing

Rust on forks.

July 29, 2006 (Getting a bit scary now)

I pulled the brakes, the exhaust and the rear wheel off today. The brake fluid didn't look good, and I'll have to rebuild those. The exhaust looks pretty good, but I have to figure out how to get the gaskets out from the head. The bike is getting more and more sparse every time I do this. I sorted out a bunch of stuff on the table, where I can work on individual parts. That's the first picture.

Exhaust and other bits.

August 7, 2006

I pulled off the instrument cluster, along with the associated brake hardware. And because I wanted to get something started instead of just taking things off, I polished the forks with chrome polish and 0000 steel wool. The front forks are pitted, but only above the line where the forks bottom out. Next I'll start looking at removing rust on various parts, painting, and rebuilding the front forks.

August 12, 2006

I pulled apart the forks today, after spending 4 dollars to make a tool (I don't think I have another tool as cheap. No, wait, the 8mm hex was cheaper...) It took a bit to get the nuts off the bottom, and when I looked at it after I was done, it looked like the threads had stripped! Odd though, stripped thread remains are made of metal, not hard plastic... The tool I used was a 1/2 by 16 inch bolt, with two nuts locked together. It fits into the fork upper and into the damper rod top to hold it in place while turning the bolt at the bottom. I used a bench vise, and arranged it so the various tabs on the fork lowers where braced carefully. On the right side for damper rod, I can see all the way through it. On the left side, there looks to be a hard brown plug down at the bottom, about where the bolt stops. It's the left side that had the junk in it. I assume that it is "extra" lock-tight or something similar the manufacturer had put in there for one reason or another.

One fork tube and components.

Blockage on the left damper-tube, not on right.

August 20, 2006

I managed to remove the seals of the forks using a larger screw driver to pry them out. I need to clean up the paint on the forks, 20 years of use has caused some corrosion and nicks.

I picked up some Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy paint, gloss black that I tried on a portion of the bike that was hidden. I liked the way it looked, so I painted the rear portion of the frame. The paint is very glossy, and takes some time to dry, but it seems to give a nice hard coat. In order to paint this, I removed the rear shock and the rear fender. IN the picture below, you can see the difference of the old paint and the new. The old paint is on the rear suspension, the new is on the upper portion of the frame. Where the rear tank bolts on to the frame is where I stopped.

August 26, 2006

Cleaned up the fork lowers and painted them. Same paint as before, an appliance black from rustoleum. Unfortunately, the bottom fork in this photo fell over before I had a chance to secure it properly for drying, so I have to take out the dead leaves and repaint portions of it. I'm not completely stripping the old paint off, just where it is loose or has some corrosion under it. I try and feather those areas before I paint it, but I can still see some mistakes. It probably wouldn't win awards at a show, but it will be solid and look good from 3 feet.

To keep the paint from entering the inside, I put the old dust seals back in, you can see it in the bottom fork, I removed it after painting on the top fork. Now these babies can go back together (well, one at least!)

Not sure I'll get the engine looking as good, if possible I'm avoiding pulling it.

September 3, 2006

Today I cleaned up the fork lower that had fallen over last week, and repainted it. It promptly slipped and rolled around on the newspaper I was using to protect things. We'll try for take 3 on that one. I also painted the top portion of the triple clamp where the idiot lights go. I have a picture of it, but I've discovered that the high gloss black doesn't photograph very well. I'll put it in anyway, and maybe you can see what it looks like.

I also wanted to get something put back together. So, I put the right fork back together. There is no oil in it right now, because I will be ordering some progressive fork springs for the forks. When I get those, I'll put oil in the fork. However, one thing has gone back together and is ready to go back on the bike. The bike is not ready yet, but that's another week.

September 10, 2006

A combination of restoration and deconstruction today, I painted the lower triple clamp after I carefully wrapped plastic around the taper bearings to keep them clean. I also repainted, for the final time, the fork lower I've been having problems with.
I took off the radiator and the wiring harness to make it easier to get to the frame and the front valve cover. I removed the valve cover, which wasn't too hard, and look at what I had to do. It looks fairly easy to check the clearences and I'll be getting the guages to do that. In the mean time, my upper triple clamp below, and the front of the bike to the left.

September 17, 2006

Today I got quite a bit done. The remaining fork was put together, and the front part of the frame was painted. In addition I put the upper and lower triple clamps on with the forks. It's starting to look like motorcycle again. I also tried polishing the right engine case with Mother's Aluminum polish, and it's going to take quite a bit of work to remove the years of tarnish and stuff. However, the chrome radiator tubes polished up quite nicely.

Since I had the triple clamps off, I greased the stearing head bearings. I had long ago put in tapered bearings, and they seem to be doing quite well.

September 24, 2006

Supporting itself once again

I spent quite a bit of time, probably an hour, cleaning most of the front wheel. I took a scrubbing pad to the gold portions, and with the exception of some nooks and crannies, returned the gold to almost new. After I finished with the scrubbing, some mother aluminum polish on the non-gold parts brought those to a real shine.

I also finished putting the bike back on the front end. This means I was able to take out the engine support which had been keeping the bike from falling over since July 23rd. 2 months later and the Vision is supporting itself all over again.

I'm almost done with painting the frame, I have to do the center section and the swing arm. I finished painting the W-mount and the removable support that goes on the right side of the engine.

Sometime soon, I'll be checking the valves for clearences and checking the compression in the cylinders.

October 1, 2006

I carefully masked off the rear swing arm, scrubbed it down as best as I could (okay, who ordered the rain for California!) and then painted the swing-arm. I masked off the actual drive shaft, I'll take care of that another day. I had so much blue tape and newspaper on it to try and keep from painting parts I didn't want. I was able to get it painted, except for the cross-member where the swing arm connects to the frame. I may not get to that, it's pretty difficult.

I also put the handlebars back on the bike, along with the instrument cluster. While doing this, I noticed I had the ignition cluster 180 degrees out. Easy fix.

I've got progressive forks on order now from denniskirk, along with brake pads for the front. Any order over 100.00 is free shipping (and 103.00 is over 100 :-) )

Once I put the progressives in, I'll seal up the front end with 15 wt oil, and that part will be done. I think the next thing to happen will be the drive shaft and clean up the rear wheel so it can go back on. I need to pick up a bunch of cotter pins to replace the ones I removed. I also am still considering a new rear shock, but we'll see how that one works out.

Here's a picture that shows the difference between painted and non-painted areas. The drive-train and mid frame have not been painted, the rest has. Mostly it's a matter of careful masking to make sure over-spray doesn't get to someplace. If possible, I would have had the frame powder-coated, but this seems to work fairly well.

October 7. 2006

9 ounces each fork, slightly less actually because the Progressive forks take up a bit more room. 5.5 inches of distance between the top of the fork and the top of the oil. I picked up a battery filler which happens to fit into the forks, and is 5.5 inches from the tip to where it fits in. I filled the forks more than 5.5 inches, and then sucked out all I could with the filler. It looks like a thin turkey baster. After I did that, I put in the progressive forks, extended the front forks so I could put on the top caps, tightened everything down to the correct torques, and the front forks are now complete.

October 14, 2006

Well, today I painted the drive train, greased up the spline for the rear wheel, and put it back on. I would have pictures, but my camera is in the shop. Needless to say, it's good to have it on two wheels again.

I had put on the rear shock, but I ended up taking it off again to remove the rear valve cover. I checked the valves, and according to the shop manual, the exhaust is supposed to be between .16 and .20 mm, the intake is supposed to be between .11 and .15 mm.

My front cylinder, the one with the problem, measured .115 and .12 on the intake valves, and .160 and .17 on the exhaust valves.
My rear cylinder, the one carrying the load, measured .11 and .12 on the intake, and .16 and .13 on the exhaust.

I need to swap out a rear shim, but the front is good (minimal, but good.) I could easily swap out and get more clearance on each of them, they're on the low side, but according to the manual it's not necessary. I'm suspect there is a little lee-way so the .13 is probably not going to cause problems. I'll be swapping it out anyway because it's out of spec.

October 22, 2006

Today was brake day. Other than painting a small portion of the frame and the rear-brake bracing, I pulled apart the front brakes and rebuilt them. Rather than use compressed air, I used grease to push the brake piston out. Cleaning out the grease isn't difficult with a good set of latex goves and some brake cleaner. The piston was trashed, it was not useable, so I was glad that I ordered a new one for each brake.

I basically set up a little tray to catch parts in. First I pulled out the sliding caliper (on the wheel side). This allowed me a bit more room to get at the brake piston. I put a temporary bolt into the banjo-bolt thread to keep the grease from coming out. I opened up the bleeder valve and starting filling the brake with grease. Slowly, the piston started coming out. Once I heard the hiss of air, I knew that the piston was as far out as it was going to be.

From here, I cleaned out most of the grease with my finger. I pulled out the inner two seals (which were completely trashed) and then cleaned the inside with brake cleaner and a rag. I made sure to clean out the banjo bolt and bleeder valve of grease. Everything looked good, and I put the two new seals into the brake. I lubed them up with brake fluid, lubed the piston with brake fluid and pushed it back in slightly. I grabbed a dowel, and slowly pushed the piston into the cylinder. I pushed it in just about as far as it could go and left it there.

I put some grease on the sliders (see repair manual on what kind) and put them together. Using a vise with plastic heads, I pushed the sliders together until they were almost all of the way in. The new rubber boots fit into the chamber, and then slip over grooves cut into the sliders. Once I got these together, I put the brake pads in, and installed them on the bike. Other than not having brake pads for the right side, it went exactly the same but faster.

Interesting enough, the manual says to replace the rubber boots about every 2 years. It had been 20 since mine were replaced. Replacing them is easy enough, take a look at your rubber boots.

October 30

I got very little done today, because of other things going on, but one thing I did do was to finish up the front brakes. Now both sides have pads and are torqued to spec. Soon I'll get the master cylinder finished and install the new lines. A little bleeding (or maybe a lot) and I'll have front brakes.

I also installed and properly tightened and saftied my rear drum brace.

November 2

It was late when I came home, and upon my doorstop I saw a small package.
"What could this be", I pondered, "so close to halloween?
Could it be a trick, could it be a treat, only one way to be seen."
Opening the door, and bringing the package in, I carefully unwrapped it.
Pulling the tattered paper out, meant to protect some precious treasure,
I saw a glint, a glint better than silver or gold.

I carefully dropped the talisman in my hand,
held it up to the light to see.
It is truely magnificent, a thing of beauty
the combination of smooth curves and angular edges,
it must be worth a fortune.

There were no imperfections visible on it.
The metal must be very rare, perhaps that most rarest, unobtanium.
The metal that will provide light when all is black,
The mere mention of this metal, mortals dream of more than platinum.

My cats wrapped around my feet, wanting to see the toy.
The lights went out, for no apparent reason,
I stepped back and dropped the talisman, but I shouldn't have worried.
There in the darkness I could see it, as it glowed with its own power.
Picking it up, I could see there was an inscription on it,
one I had not seen before.

With my old eyes, I peered at the words and read the truth

Four Valves for each cylinder in a V,
Shims of Eight in the lifters of steel,
Two Covers to keep the black elixir in,
One gasket each to keep the engine clean,
In the Engine of Vision where the powers lie.
One Tool to tune them all, One Tool to align,
One Tool to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Engine of Vision where the powers lie.

Thanks Lucky.

November 4

Today was exhaust valve day. All of my exhaust valves, save one, had > .152 mm and < .178 mm clearance on them. The one that was less was around .102 mm. I pulled all of the shims off the exhaust valves, and all of them were 250s (2.50 mm thick) except for the .102 mm valve. That had a 255 shim in it. Digging through Lucky's pile of shims, I found a 250 shim and slid it into that seat. Now that exhaust valve has is the same as the rest, between .152 and .178 mm. Since going to the next smaller shim would dump it to .202, which is outside the limits, I'll leave them at 250s. Convenient that they all are the same size.

Tomorrow, I might try the intake shims. I may have one intake that is tight on the rear cylinder.

I want to seriously berate the person who came up with this shim method! They are a pain in the a** to replace. And the exhaust ones are easier!

November 5, 2006

The tight intake shim was on the rear cylinder, on the right side (sitting on the bike). It had a 260 shim in it, and putting the 255 from my exhaust made the tolerances much better. Then came putting the valve cover gasket back on. Geez. I also discovered that the manuals are slightly incorrect. They say that the shim will pop off. Not quite. I heard a pop, and figured that I could pull out the shim. Nope, it took a second pop. The first sound was the oil seal (surface tension) breaking, and the second was the shim popping out of the bucket. Once I realized this, everything went much easier.

I lubed up the new gasket cover to hold it into place while I tried to maneuver the cover into place over the radiator line. 1 hour later I realized that was not going to work. And the radiator line was frozen into place from being there for so long. Out came the knife. I cut off the radiator line (I was probably going to replace it before this point) and the valve cover slid into place. With a bit of wriggling, the gasket also slid into the right locations and I bolted it down.

The rear cylinder is finished off, and thankfully when I was turing the engine over I could not hear any sounds of leaks. Since it was the front cylinder that had the problem, I'll be looking into that one next weekend. It doesn't have any tight valves, so it should go together fairly easily. (I think I just jinxed myself...)

November 18, 2006

Unfortunately a bad cold knocked me out for the previous week, and I wasn't able to work on the bike. This week however I rebuilt the master cylinder for the brakes. In order to do this, I had to drill out the bolts (4mm if anyone is interested...) and remove them with hemostats once I had the top pulled off. The master cylinder is now on the bike and set for fluid and brake lines. All that is left on the painting the frame is the center section under the battery box. Next week is Thanksgiving and I'll be out of town. I hope to have the replacement radiator hose figured out.

December 3, 2006

On Saturday, I decided to measure the compression ratio of the front and back cylinder. Since the bike had not been run a while, I put light-weight oil into the cylinders and turned them over (connected the battery directly to the starter.) I measured the back cylinder first and got a variety of readings from 120 to 150 (!) If you do the math, 150 is about as good as these can get. I felt rather frustrated with this, so I decided to charge the battery and think about what I wanted to accomplish and how to do it. While thinking I painted the last bit of frame below where the battery box is. The frame is completely painted now, barring some areas I couldn't get to because of the engine.

Sunday I went out with a plan. I had let the cylinders sit overnight, so any excess oil would drain off. If you do the math, the cylinders compress the air down to less than 1/8 of a cup. There isn't a lot of room in there. I pulled off the rag protecting the carb mouths, opened the throttle bodies fully, plugged in the compression guage, let the cylinder spin for a couple of times with the escape valve open. Then I closed the guage escape valve and went through 8 revolutions. I did this for both front and rear cylinders:

rear cylinder: 121 PSI
front cylinder: 119 PSI.

I reproduced this twice for each cylinder. While low, they are within a reasonable range. More importantly, they are close together and show me that the valves were probably not the problem I encountered in Paso Robles. If I go by my airplane, I could probably lose another 5-10 PSI before I need to rebuild it. (lose 25 % of pressure). You won't catch me doing 115 mph runs on this engine though without a tail-wind! (and yes, they're still higher-compression than my airplane's cylinders...)

December 9, 2006

I received a set of Galfer Braided brake lines for the Vision, a two-line system. Today they went on and the bleeding began. Since the old system was a three-line system, the brake lines had to be routed a different path. The old system had a single line that went to a junction in the middle of the forks. From there two lines went to the brakes. The new system has a dual-banjo bolt at the master cylinder, and one line to each brake.

The image at the far left is the center section of the bike that has been recently painted. Pretty much the entire frame has now been painted. I have to do some clean up work on the engine itself, polishing and cleaning, but the bike is looking quite nice now.

And amusingly enough, I need to replace the brake lever because the paint is starting to chip off of it. This on a motorcycle that has never been in an accident in the entire 23 years of its life.

And since the bike was going together, I wanted to put some body-work on, so the front fender went on. I wheeled the vision out of the garage for a shot or two, then back in because it was starting to rain...

December 16, 2006

They said it was going to rain, so I stayed home and worked on the Vision rather than going to the airport and going flying. Needless to say it didn't rain, but I got a lot of work done on the bike...

My goal for today was to get the main wiring harness back into the bike. Not connected yet to anything, but set up and ready for connections. You can see in the image to the left, portions of the wiring harness hanging off the bike. I made sure that it was in there and not interfering with the various cables that I also installed. I now have the starter cable (otherwise called choke), the cluthc cable and the throttle cable connected.

I also cut with a very sharp finely serrated knife the heater hose I use to replace my main radiator line to the back cylinder. I attached the molded line to the cylinder, routed it out to the right side of the bike, and then attached the heater hose to that. The entire thing went into the brackets on the frame and then to the front radiator T. You can see how this is routed and how it looks in the middle and right photos. I've enhanced the lighting in photoshop to make it more obvious. I want to put some clamps on where the join is, but it looks pretty good and doesn't seem to get in the way of anything at all. The parts for the radiator hose are:
part number GoodYear 63244.
a 3/4 to 3/4 coupler
3/4 heater hose about 16 inches (it will be cut down)

Main wiring harness in bike

Radiator hose at rear cylinder

Radiator hose at radiator 'T'

December 20, 2006

Yesterday and today (I'm taking this week and next off of work on vacation), I polished up some aluminum, not quite a shiny as Kevin's in this thread but shiny enough for right now. I've been putting the vision back together, working from the back to the front. Most of the electrical in the rear end has been put back in, I am looking at making the running light modification that Lucky made My arms are tired, but the bike is starting to look less like a wreck and more like a bike...

December 22, 2006

The exhaust is back on with new gaskets at the head junction, new clamps on the rear down-tube to Y, and new copper gaskets at the same location. This is one of those jobs that takes longer than you expect, and because of the 3 parts coming off the rear cylinder is a royal pain.

December 31, 2006

Happy New Years Eve.

I had to get something different on the vision before the end of the new year.

I spent about an hour putting the radiator back on (that thing just needs to be put in just so, or it doesn't want to fit!). But I was able to get it on, and all the appropriate routing for the hoses, overflow lines, and fan electrical.

After that, out came the wiring diagram and the routing diagrams. Carefully making sure I was putting the correct connectors on the proper ends, I carefully plugged everything back in. I ran into a couple of oddities, the odd connector at the back of where the tank sits that I couldn't figure out where it goes (it goes to the fuel sender), and the blue/red line that appears in the fairing harness and doesn't seem to go to anything, it just comes out of the harness! Most importantly, I wrapped some of the bundles that the plastic was getting frayed with new cable-harness (plastic spiral binding). I verified everything was in order, and at 4:20 pm, put the battery in. I switched the key and things came on. The oil pressure light came on, when I flipped the high-beam switch, the high-beam indicator came on. The turn signals flashed (well, once, I only had the back ones on.) And the brake light came on when I applied the brakes (both front and back!)

Only one hitch. The neutral light stayed off. No matter what I did. I verified the bulb was good with an ohm-meter. It could be the actual switch, I'm not sure. By that time it was getting too dark to really tell colors in the garage any more. So, I left the battery box and TCI hanging from the frame and called it a day (the battery was removed).

But it was good to see lights turn on at the end of 2006.

Happy New Year everyone.

January 6, 2007

Today was the day to put the rest of the electrical back together. Main goal, in amongst not doing anything wrong because I was on allergy medication, was to figure out why the neutral light would not come on. The first thing I did was to verify the switch itself worked. In order to reach the switch, you have to take off the kickstand mounting system, and the shifter linkage mechanism. Once that is off, it's a clear shot to the screw that connects the wire to the switch. I pulled off the wire, cleaned it well, and verified that the switch worked fine.

After that was done, I followed the line back up into the main cavity between the battery and TCI, where all the electrons go zipping about. Because several lines follow the bottom of the crankshaft, this was fairly difficult. I noted that the neutral switch wire and the oil pressure wire were in the same connector, not seperate connectors. I don't know if this is a difference between the RJ and RK models. I followed the line up and found the other end of the connector. I disconnected it and verified that the wire was not broken in between there. Odd, it appeared that the other side of the connector went back down into the engine along the crankcase. I followed it, and indeed it did. I had connected the oil pressure/neutral connection to the sidestand switch.

I went to the right side of the bike, and started looking for where the other connectors were supposed to be. It took me a while, but I did track them down. Connecting the correct connectors, I then reconnected the battery, and turned the key. The photo tells the final tale. I was actually able to turn over the engine by pressing the starter button, but with no fuel, there was no way it was going to start.

January 15, 2007

The wires have been contained, repeat, the wires have been contained. Needless to say, I did some careful looking at the wire-routing diagram for the 1983, and the basic idea is to separate the two main bundles into left and right of the brake line connection. I left mine on, even though I now have the two-line system from Galfer, just so I don't lose it.

I also added in the anti-freeze, which took a while. I would add some, wipe up the spill, wait a while, add some more. I undid the bleed on top of the Tee behind the radiator, and that went fairly easily. I occasionally ran the starter to get the water pump working. Finally, after about 3/4 of a gallon, the level in the radiator didn't drop at all. I wrapped teflon tape around the bleeder nut and put it back in.

And, finally, I spent some time sanding and painting the frame that the fairing connects to. You can't see it, but it's hanging from my garage door opener rails by bungie cords.

I went to pick up a fuse block (actually two) but the local Kragen was out of them. I want to attach one under the fairing for miscellaneous devices (like my voltage gauge)

My bike is still mostly original, but it's getting more pieces from other bikes on it. I'm waiting for my shorty-stalks to come in, to see how they work out!

January 21, 2007

A good and bad day...

I looked everything over and decided I was able to safely start the bike. I had found a radiator leak at the new hose where it meets the T just beyond the radiator. Just a small amount of fluid on the ground, but noticeable. I pulled the hose back somewhat and wrapped the junction with teflon tape, then put the hose back on. Clean things up, wait a little while and there was no more leak.

So I had been charging the battery all day Saturday while I was working on my plane (it needed to have the rudder trim cleaned out so it would work better.) I tested the voltage this morning and it was at 12.7 after sitting all night. I put the tank back on (still cannot see any rust in the thing!) and plugged all of the tubes back in. I did not put the air filter back on the carbs yet. I let the bike sit for 10 minutes on prime, and verified that gas was getting in by opening the drains.

Then came the final moment. I rolled the throttle 5 times, and punched the starter. It turned over, but nothing. I stopped, let the bike sit for another 5 minutes. Rolled the throttle 5 more time, punched the starter button, and it started.

The sound was smooth, I had gotten rid of the exhaust leak. More like the standard mega sewing machine. I let the bike warm up for a little while. I slowly started revving the engine, 2000 RPM and it sounded good. 4000 and it was good. 5000 and it died suddenly. I repeated this exact scenario twice more.

The carbs are now off the bike.

February 2, 2007

Still waiting on my carb rebuild kit, though since it was shipped to work and I haven't been there for a week, it's probably waiting for me.

The wires by the battery box are a hot and cold line that will go to a buss behind the fairing. 16 gauge wire good for 10 amps, mostly to power the new lights (55 watt x 2, not currently installed). The fairing needs cleaning still, but I wanted to verify the fit of where the new fuse box will go, along with the lights that will be below the turn-signals (I'm leaning toward that anyway.)

And I finally lost a bolt, one of the ones that hold the mirror mounts on. Off to the hardware store I go...

February 25, 2007

The past few weeks have been busy for me, so I catch time to work on the bike when I can. One of the things I've been doing is putting in an electrical panel behind the dash. I've put in a 4-fuse block, and a 4 ground block. I tried to find a fuse block that takes blade type fuses, but have been completely unsuccesful. So, I used the normal old fuses. Since that panel doesn't move, and that area doesn't get wet no matter what the weather, I think it will work out fine. I haven't put in a main line fuse from the battery to the fuse block, rather the first (top in photo) acts as the main fuse and then the others are pulled off of that. I'm not sure I won't redesign this in the future, but it looks solid.

The switch at the top of the panel is for the running lights, It is tucked up under the fairing itself a little bit, but it can be reached while in riding position. Turns out that the instructions I received were incorrect, they had the switch wired backwards. I wasn't sure, so I tested, and I'm thankful.

And finally, I completely cleaned and fixed up the fuel pump from the carbs using the "Keyster Carb Kit" I received from Ebay.

March 3, 2005

Getting close to one year after the breakdown, and I would like to see it on the rode again. Toeday was a day to play with polishing the windscreen and making a minor modification to the under-dash electrical system. I used a kit I had at the hangar called "Micro-mesh" which includes a series of polishing sheets and some compound. It did a fairly good job of removing the yellow hazing, but I think I need to go back and redo some of the finer sheets to remove the fine scratches.

I also put in a blade type fuse block under the dash. This looks to be safer from a shorting aspect than the original fuse-block I had before.

March 10, 2007

The rear carb was completed today. By filing the edges of a flatblade screwdriver, I was able to craft one to fit in the hole for the pilot jet. All of the jets came off fine except for the 140 main air jet. I cracked the top of it. Thankfully, I was able to remove it and I will be replacing it. The photo on the left is the cleaned rear carb, the right is the dirty front carb.

March 17, 2007

The running light brackets fit between the fairing and the fairing mounting frame. Where they are currently located allows full movement of the forks with no interference.

March 25, 2007

The carbs went back together yesterday, and it appears that the problem might have been the front carb emulsions tube. When I pulled it out to clean it, I put the nozzle of the carb clean at the jet and sprayed. Not much came out. I did it again, and then carb cleaner really started coming out. It was as if the jet was blocked somewhat and it's now clear. But, I put the carbs back together using standard fuel line hose from Kragen where I had to cut the hose off. I still have to fit the hoses to the petcock, which is why they are long. I also put a little bit of grease on the fittings so that things will slide on and off a little better.

But there is one more hose that I need to pick up, which is the small hose that goes between the two accelerator pump connections. I think I'm going to have to visit a hobby store for hose that small, none of the auto-stores carry anything but standard fuel line.

And a shot of the lights to the left. One thing about the lights, I did pick up a rely and wired it into the blue wire coming off the ignition switch (the one for the rear lights). The lights go off when I turn the key off. However, I ran out of room under the dash! The relay is in the headlight bucket...

March 31, 2007

One year ago today, on my way down to the California Riders of Vision get together, I lost power above about 4500 RPM.

Today, the bike started and ran, bogging terribly at 5000 RPM (it hasn't been synced yet) but making it up to 8000 RPM before I let it come down again. The YICS might be leaking slightly, and it does need to be synced.

April 1, 2007

A bit more information. For the last few days, I was trying to find the 1/8 inch line that I can use between the accelerator pump and the front carb, but have been completely unsuccessful. I tried pretty much every store I could think of, though I did get a lot of "Did you try..." information from people I asked. Saturday morning, I put the carbs back on the bike because I could put the fuel line on with them on.

At the same time, my airplane is going into annual, and I headed down to the airport to clean the oil off from the belly yesterday, figuring I would have to mail-order the line from dennis kirk or something along those lines. When driving by a hanger I saw someone polishing his 97 Triumph, and stopped to chat. Turns out he is getting ready to sell it, only 4000 dollars, but that's still a bit out of my league.

I mentioned rebuilding the Vision, and that I was not having any luck at the fuel line. "You mean this stuff?" He gave me a foot of it free.

So, I came home after a couple of hours, and I installed the fuel line. I didn't have the right size clips to keep the line on, but it's a good pressure fit for the moment. I put the tank back on, but not the air box or filter. Connected things up and turned it on prime. Discovered I had a slight fuel leak at the brass bolt that covers the get near the bottom and tightened that up. Also had to tighten up the screw under the carb which covers the bottom get.

Rolled the throttle several times, and turned the engine over. It would catch and then die.

Nothing. Then I walked around the bike and there was something missing. I hadn't put the YICS on. I couldn't find the bolt that connects it up, but I attached it and used a different bolt to hold it on. Rolled the throttle several times, hit the start button and she started up (well, after a bit of coaxing.) Used the idle adjustment to bring the idle up to about 2500 RPM and let it warm up.

After it was warm, I started moving the throttle up, and right around 5000 RPM, it started bogging down to the point of almost dying. However, when I let go of the throttle it came back (unlike last time). I gave it more gas and it choked a little through 5000 but climbed on up to 8000 RPM and stayed there. It ran rough, but it ran.

Shut it down and let it cool off for a while. I removed the tank again, and came up with a list of things to do:

1) the main line for the fuel return is too short, it kinks when I connect it up to the petcock.
2) get clips for the new fuel line.
3) find the bolt for YICS and test it for leaks. (there was a slight hesitancy when I let go of the throttle)
4) put airbox back on and then adjust the sync, after I clean the air filter.

So, it's pretty close. I might need some mixture adjustment. I didn't remove the mixture adjustment when I cleaned the carbs since it was running well at lower RPM. I couldn't find a dip here in California, and apparently Santa Cruz is the boondocks when it comes to non-standard auto and motorcycle supplies! I'm going to try the 4 things above first and see what comes of it.

April 16, 2007

Sunday afternoon I picked up fuel lines which were plenty long for all of the applications I needed, and then put the airbox back on. Because the line from the front valve cover disintigrated on me when I took it off months ago, I replaced it. That meant I had to cut down a line and then attach it, making sure that I didn't get a kink in the line and end up blocking off the vent. At the same time, based on a different thread on the RIders of Vision Forum, I rotated my rear shock :-)

It's been a while since I've been able to work on the bike, mostly because the Friday before Easter, I got hit with a really bad cold. The type that saps your energy so that it's hard to even make it through a shower. I spent most of last week recovering, but ended up getting bacterial conjunctivitis in both eyes. (pink-eye, probably from the cold, bacterial is when your eyelids glue together...) I'm now on anti-biotics for that.

In addition, I found out that my airplane needed to have the entire left exhaust system replaced. Sunday was the first day I actually found time and energy to work on the bike. As of right now, I need to clean the air-filter, check to make sure everything is in the proper place, and then synchronize the carbs. If I'm fortunate, that will be just about the end of this little odyssey. I still need to fix the lower fairing heat vents, but compared to what else I've been through, that should be easy.

April 21, 2007

After synchronizing the carbs with a carb stick from my dad, I put 2.5 miles on the Vision today, up to the university entrance and back. It pulls nicely all the way to redline.

April 22, 2007

I've been doing a work on the bike today, I'll post more later. However, if you get new spark plugs, carbs set up correctly and everything tuned nicely, hopefully your bike will start as easily as mine. When warm it will fire before one full revolution. It's amazing...

Oh, and 22 years ago today, I paid 2590.00 for my bike, plus doc fees, sales tax, a service contract, and license for a total out the door price of 3159.70. (I found my purchase contract.)

April 9, 2007. Done

Progressive forks springs, stainless brake lines, new carb parts, rebuilt forks, front running lights, shorty turn signal stalks. Frame was almost completely repainted, removing all of the rust. Fork lowers were repainted. I didn't end up replacing the rear shock. There was quite a lot done to the bike, a lot of deferred maintenance. There is still a very slight hesitation when you slowly go up to 5000 RPM and hold it there on the center stand. However the bike pulls really strongly with no hesitation when you're riding it. I think I still have a few minor things to do, but I'm classifying those as minor projects for later.

10 months after I started the rebuild, and 13 months after it broke near Paso Robles. Probably around 250 hours of my time during the last 10 months.

Oh and still 24 year old paint.

This project is finished. If you have any questions about this bike, you can reach me at